April 18, 2006

Zocalo Release with Persistence

Prediction Markets By: ams

A new release of Zocalo is available (Here’s a patched release) on SourceForge. Zocalo now supports long-lived Prediction Markets. The previous releases had general support for prediction market trading, but the original packaging was focused on enabling lab experiments for economists. That version has been in use at George Mason since last fall, and they continue to run new experiments using the software.

The new code has two major features: transaction history charts are displayed using JFreechart, and a database has been integrated (using Hibernate) so all data is persistent. This means it is now possible to use the code to run long-lived Prediction Markets. The code currently allows anyone to create new claims. The next important development feature is to add login securty. (Currently, no passwords are required.)

Once accounts have some security, I’m hoping to start running Zocalo as a public server (If you have suggestions for a domain, please send me mail privately) where people could use it for internal markets (e.g. inside a business). There will probably be a period during which I limit the number of groups using it so I can shake out any bugs. But the code will be available so people will be able to run their own copies even as we continue to improve the interface and add features.

There is lots of work left to do, but I’m hopeful that it will soon be good enough to use, and that others will start helping develop the code once we reach that point.

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